Journalist convicted in death of TV host

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

Halit Kerem Altan, the son of prominent Turkish journalist Ahmet Altan, and a former managing editor of Taraf daily, was sentenced to two months in prison for the death of Defne Joy Foster, a well-known TV host, four years ago. Foster was found dead in Altan's home in Istanbul, apparently due to a medical condition, on Feb. 2, 2011, when she failed to take her medicine. Altan was released pending trial over her death and was charged with failing to notify emergency services for Foster. A court in Istanbul sentenced Altan to two months and 15 days in prison but postponed his imprisonment. Altan had claimed that he was not aware of Foster's medical condition and thought she slipped into a coma induced by alcohol after they spent the night on a drunken binge. The prosecution accused the journalist of calling emergency services more than two hours after Foster fell unconscious. The defendant instead searched for a pharmacist. Charges against Altan, who belongs to a family of renowned journalists and authors, including his uncle Mehmet Altan and grandfather Çetin Altan, were initially dropped by a local court but the Supreme Court of Appeals ordered a retrial. His failure to notify emergency services carries a sentence of three years, but the court commuted the sentence due to the lack of a past conviction and for good behavior.

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